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Lesotho Travel Guide

Lesotho — Travel Tips

Language

The official language of Lesotho is Sesotho, although many people in the capital and large townships speak English to a reasonable degree. In rural areas, English is hard to come by.

Currency

The official currency is the loti, although the South African rand is accepted just about everywhere. If you have loti left at the end of your vacation, you should either spend it or exchange it for rand, as the loti is non-negotiable outside the country. ATMs and banks are found in the capital and most towns, but not at all in the rest of the country, and some ATMs may not accept foreign cards. Payment by card is allowed at major hotels, but nowhere else, and Lesotho in general operates a cash economy.

Time

Lesotho is on South Africa Standard Time, two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2).

Electricity

Electricity in Lesotho comes as 220-240 V/50 Hz, with sockets primarily using the South African type M plug. Most travelers will need an adapter, and visitors from Canada and the USA will need a step-down transformer for non-dual voltage electronics.

Communications

The dialing code for Lesotho is +266, followed by an area code and the phone number. Two cell phone companies, Vodacom and Econet, operate the GSM network with adequate coverage in the capital and other larger cities. Coverage in rural areas, however, is poor to non-existent. Visitors whose mobile providers are on different systems will need to have their phone unlocked before being able to use the cheap, local pre-paid SIM cards.

Duty-free

Duty-free allowances for travelers entering Lesotho are 200 cigarettes, one liter of spirits and two liters of wine, plus 50 ml of perfume for personal use. Requirements vary for those returning to their home country with US allowances 200 cigarettes, one liter of alcohol and gifts up to a value of US $400.

Tourist Office

Lesotho Tourist Office, Maseru: +266-31-3760 or http://www.ldtc.org.ls/.

Consulates in Lesotho

US Embassy, Maseru: +266-22-312-666
Canadian Consulate, Maseru: +266-22-315-365
Australian High Commission, Pretoria: +27-12-423-6000
British Honorary Consulate, Maseru: +266-58-851-210

Emergency

Medical: 121
Fire: 122
Police: 123,124

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